Is There Accounting Software That Can Be Used on a Mac?

November 8th, 2017

Phil in Virginia says:

I use an online accounting system (called Wave) that I am very satisfied with. I use it to record and reconcile all of my small business income and expenses, as well as to generate all of my invoices. The system keeps a record of the invoices and I record payments as I receive them, and of course assigns them to the proper account, just like physical bookkeeping works. I would prefer to use a desktop accounting system rather than online, and used to do so before I switched to an iMac system, but virtually ALL accounting systems are online subscription-based now.

Is there an online service that simply accepts payments and transfers payments to a bank account?

Frankly, I love photography but truly despise the whole invoice and accounting process!

Yes, software vendors are trying to move everyone to online subscription systems because they make more money and they only need to have one version to maintain.

My wife, who does my accounting, uses Quicken 2017 on a Mac for our accounting. Despite the talk on the box and on Amazon about subscriptions, Quicken is installable on either a desktop/laptop Mac or PC. My wife feels the same way you do and refuses to use a web-based accounting system. QuickBooks is the most popular desktop accounting system but it only works on PC. My wife claims that QuickBooks is more complicated than necessary for most small businesses.

I use PayPal for invoicing and payment mainly because it works all over the world so I can sell e-books and videos any place in the world. If you just do business in the US or Canada, is cheaper and just as good.

So for those who do business in the US or Canada, the combination of Quicken 2018 and Square is very good. Here is a list of all the most popular small business accounting software. Most of it is web-based.

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14 Responses to “Is There Accounting Software That Can Be Used on a Mac?”

  • I use Account Edge and have for years. It’s very similar to Quick Books, but I much prefer the interface of Account Edge. Personally, I don’t like online applications for critical business functions. I’ve never had any need to generate an invoice in the field or access any accounting information. I can also discontinue updating the program if I go out of business and I will still have full access to my data for tax reporting without having to re-subscribe to a service.

    To be a successful business, you have to take care of the back end as well as the fun photography front end or you should just go to work for somebody else and trade some income, freedom and Copyrights in exchange for doing the paperwork. Honestly, it’s not that hard and you don’t have to finely detail every little invoice and expense. If you are operating as a sole proprietorship, just set up a chart of accounts that matches the tax forms and that will be all you need. If you input income and expenses every day or every few days, it only takes a couple of minutes. The trick is to not let it pile up and try and put in a month’s worth of receipts in one sitting.

  • I use QB and agree with Larry’s wife….it is way more than you need for this simple service operation. Quicken for Hm/Bus would be all you need and does work with Mac’s

    I am sure there are a lot more suggestions for programs, just be sure that you are getting one that will be supported down the line.

  • I’m running a brokerage so my needs are different than most here probably, but I love QuickBooks Online. There are many versions and the basic version would probably be enough for most people. I use plus it allows me to track income and expenses by class and location. Great if you want to see how much you actually make on each job.

    If you just want to invoice and track taxes it does that as well. Why anyone would be afraid of cloud accounting is beyond me. I can have myself, my administrator, and my accountant all logged in at the same time and doing their thing. No backups, no sharing a file. Accounting more than anything should be in the cloud.

  • You guys have to check out … it’s perfect for small businesses like ours.

  • I don’t run my business thinking I will not be able to afford a $10 a month fee. You can easily set up visa so when you send an invoice it can be paid with a click of a button. Reconcile your accounts every month. Match your transactions every other day which can be linked directly to your bank account and you won’t have any problems. Accounting is easy if you keep on top of it.

  • I use this thing called excel. Get this, I use this thing called a ziplock bag to put receipts into.

    I collect money at the shoots, put in excel, and tally up the receipts (which there aren’t terrible amounts of for me) and driven miles at the end.

    That’s it. Maybe I am missing something. I know people have higher volume than me so I know it’s not a one size fits all situation.

  • VT transaction+ run using VMWare Fusion on a Mac. The initial set up is a little tricky, but once set up, it does the job.

    Taken from the point of view of someone who used to work in accounting and bookkeeping and who has experience with existing systems such as Sage etc (a few years back now), online systems are simply too slow in terms of the time it takes to process invoices. Many are also unreliable in terms of the reports they output, and for some reason, seem to loose the plot in terms of where they put certain tasks/how they describe them. Having looked at a few of them, it is almost like the software developers decided to try and re-invent the wheel in terms of user interface, when they put these systems online. They did not do a good (or for that matter necessary) job.

  • For about 12 years I’ve used a program called Studiometry (
    It works on both Mac and Windows, and it is a very powerful program. It was originally designed for people like us in the creative field and has evolved well beyond that since. The invoicing is slick, as is the client tracking. I’ve tried other programs and keep coming back.

  • I have been using Wave online accounting for over two years and I love it. It’s free! I have my credit card and business bank account transactions automatically download. All I have to do is choose the income or expense account and add notes or vendor information, if I want it. When I’m not sure how to enter certain items, I just look online and have always found an answer. I don’t use the invoice system, but it looks great for those who would. Fast, easy and can run my P&L statement and balance sheets to see how I’m doing year over year. I can also track income by agent. I’ve never been unable to access my account. It has been extremely stable. My husband can log in and I could even add my accountant, so he can see everything. You can have multiple businesses and personal accounts if you want, all under one login. If you are not afraid to have your accounting in the cloud, I’d stay with them. If you haven’t tried them, take a look; it’s free!

  • I use quickbooks on a Mac. It syncs automatically with Square once you set it up.

  • Some of the replies in this string has made me realize that people that like the cloud based versus non cloud based are like people that like Nikon over Canon. To each his own, it is not like you are running a business wrong if you choose not to be cloud based. Myself, I don’t like all the fees every month, $1.99 here, $4.99 there, $19.99 here, $30 there. It all adds up. And if you want to save yourself money, then do that. You are not wrong at all.

    Anyway, for the last 16 years I have used Quickbooks for Mac desktop version. I did try the online version and I found it very difficult to use – it was different and I did not like the version It would not do some things that my desktop version does. I have the 2016 version of Quickbooks for Mac. They make updates to it but its hard to find the desktop version anywhere. You can go on the Intuit site and talk to the “chat” line and insist on purchasing that version. They will work with you to purchase it. I just did it for my daughter. They will try to talk you into the online, but just tell them flat NO – I want the desktop version.

    I noticed that Amazon has the 2015 version – which is still good enough. Here is the link

    Good luck in finding the right software for your business!

  • QB online! ::mikedrop::

  • +1 for FreshBooks!!!

  • Quickbooks is available for use on a Mac. As others mentioned, I too tried QB online and found it lacking but that was 2 years ago (sluggish, multiple screens to accomplish what could be done on one window on desktop, “glitches” galore that if I had not been familiar with QB and general accounting principles would have resulted in incorrect reports, interaction with my bank accounts would work and then they wouldn’t and then they would etc.). Hopefully they have improved on that. What really sealed the deal to switch back to the desktop version was the automatic enrollment in payroll and the subsequent frustration of getting a refund and stopping the service. I finally spoke to a support person that apparently had his fill of dealing with this issue and secured a refund and cancellation of the service and admitted the opting out of payroll services was intentionally confusing. Similarly, when I thought I had canceled using online QB, I continued to be charged for it but my saving grace support person was no where to be found. It took several months to get a refund and to stop the charge. Since returning to QB desktop, interaction with my bank accounts has been seamless, recording transactions instantaneous, no glitches, no issues affecting reporting.

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